Estée Lauder was born Josephine Esther Mentzer in Corona, Queens. Growing up, she was more interested in her uncle’s work as a chemist than her family’s hardware store. She named one of her uncle’s chemical blends Super Rich All-Purpose Cream and sold it to friends. Her uncle, Dr. John Schotz, also made other products, such as Dr. Schotz’s Viennese Cream, which she sold to beauty salons, beach clubs and resorts. Founding the Estée Lauder Company in 1946, she later introduced the enormously popular bath oil and fragrance known as Youth Dew, and the first allergy tested, dermatologist-created cosmetic brand, Clinique. A perfectionist, Lauder kept a watchful eye on every aspect of her luxury brand, choosing pale turquoise for the packaging because it looked good in any color bathroom. Her instincts for promotion and marketing were just as keen, introducing the successful concept of “gift with purchase.” One of her most famous quotations was, “If I believe in something, I sell it, and sell it hard.”
To Dana, the story of Estée Lauder’s success was an incredible and inspirational tale. She had seized opportunities and worked aggressively to pursue “what she believed in.” There had been no prescription or formula for success other than following her interests and working hard when opportunities presented themselves, and it had all begun with a simple interest in her uncle’s chemical creations. Maybe that had been Bob’s underlying message in the conference room on Friday: keep your eyes open and look for advantages that others might not perceive. It’s certainly what Estée Lauder had done.
It was clear that Estée Lauder did not wish to be kept waiting any longer, and Andrew once again approached the group when it seemed as if Mark had exhausted pleasantries with Leonard.
“I really should wait until Mr. Neimark arrives before I show you what Mark and I have been working on,” Andrew stated, “but—”
“Mr. Ricci,” Ms. Lauder began, “there’s really only one issue here. May I have the first display on the left, assuming you can tell me where Revlon will be positioned?”
“Are you prepared to give us this space?” Joseph Lauder asked straightforwardly.
Dana saw that the moment of reckoning had come. The Lauder family expected an answer. They clearly perceived Andrew had been stalling for time.
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